Picture the scene: you've set the lighting, props are in place, and you’re ready to make magic. This could be your finest work yet, a masterpiece that Spielberg would be proud of. You do one final check before getting ready. You're good to go; it’s time for Lights, Camera, Action!
No, we're not talking about filming the next Hollywood blockbuster or art-house movie. This is all about using your skills behind the camera (phone) to create engaging video walkthroughs for renters. The need for virtual viewings is higher than ever, so it's time to get recording.
Creating video walkthroughs is a necessity to keep up with demands of modern-day renters, but it’s also a new concept for many agents. Worry not, though. By the time you’ve read our 10 tips on how to create great videos, you’ll fancy yourself as the next Martin Scorsese or Sofia Coppola.
If you’re filming videos for the first time, it might be worth looking at how others have gone about the task of creating great walkthroughs. Taking inspiration will stand you in good stead when it comes to creating your little piece of magic.
2) Explore the property
A director needs to know the set like the back of their hand, and it's no different for letting agents filming video walkthroughs. The property is your set, and you need to bring it to life. The best way to achieve this is by spending time familiarizing yourself with the home.
Take 10 minutes to check out all the rooms and get a feel for each space. Note any storage areas or places of interest that aren’t immediately noticeable, so you can include them in the video. Finally, get comfortable in the space around the apartment, as this will help you plan the video walkthrough better.
3) Set the scene
Once you're comfortable with the surroundings, it's time to prepare for filming. All great video walkthroughs are carefully staged and planned, and preparing beforehand will have a considerable impact on the final outcome.
Start by decluttering the property. In an ideal world, it will be clutter-free when you arrive, but it's worth going around once to make sure everything is where it should be. Remove personal items, such as pictures of the occupants if there are any. Also, make sure all the blinds and curtains are open and that natural light is pouring in.
4) Make it light and bright
Lighting plays a massive role in the quality of any professional video. That's why it should be one of your top priorities during filming. After all, the last thing you want to do is to spend time filming a great walkthrough, only for poor lighting to make it hard to watch.
It's unlikely you'll have access to high-tech camera equipment and lighting appliances, meaning the best time to capture a property is during the day. Turn on all the lights, so it's as bright as possible, and visit on a day that has good natural light.
5) Motion delight
Shooting a property means filming a still environment, but you want your video to come to life. To achieve this, you need to pan the camera. Slow pans bring another dynamic to videos, adding motion to static shots.
It also helps to enhance features of the room, such as wood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows and kitchen countertops. Renters want to see a property full of life, and creating motion in a still room will help to capture the feeling of living there.
6) Be a steady Eddie
You don't need nerves of steel to create a good video walkthrough, but having a steady hand will go a long way. No one wants to see a shaky video that's jagging all over the place. It's a surefire way for viewers to lose interest in the property.
When you’re making the video walkthrough, keep a steady hand while moving through the property. The whole idea is to let renters imagine themselves living there, and a video without that isn't blurry or shaky is essential to achieving your goal.
7) Take your time… but don’t go too slow
You’ll need to move around the property while keeping a steady hand so that you can show all the rooms. But you don’t want to whizz around like you’re Speedy Gonzales, nor do you want to move at the pace of a turtle.
Keep a good rhythm, but make sure that renters can see the whole property and have long enough to imagine themselves in the home. A one-bedroom flat video walkthrough, for example, should last between 60 and 90 seconds.
8) Surround sound
We don’t live in the 1920s, so silent cinema isn’t an option for your video walkthroughs. You’ll want to bring them to life, exciting renters who are viewing in the process. A great video walkthrough can get a renter to offer on a property without physically viewing it, and audio plays a key role.
The best videos use a combination of narration and music. Renters want to know about what they’re seeing, so you need to bring your A-game and detail everything in the property whilst being clear in your words. It's time to brush up on David Attenborough docs.
9) Show the entire property, even the bits they can’t see
It should go without saying, but you want to provide as much information as possible to renters. Providing clear video detailing all the rooms and storage compartments is vital, but so is informing renters of aspects that might not be instantly noticeable.
Perhaps the property is quiet. If that’s the case, tell them in the video. You will significantly increase your chances of enticing renters if you provide them with as much information as possible. That includes any bonuses, such as outside space and communal areas.
Last but not least, you should review your masterpiece in waiting. After the initial recording, view the recording at the property and see if it can be improved upon. Try taking a few versions so that you have options when it comes to the final cut.
And the Award goes to…
Being prepared is the best way to ensure that you make amazing video walkthroughs that whet the appetite of renters. And by following our tips, you can make sure that your vids are Oscar worthy when it comes to providing live property walkthroughs.